June 18, 2008

Tips For Raising Difficult Subjects

Gretchen Rubin, who blogs at The Happiness Project, offers advice for starting those conversations that people dread having:
  1. Don't stall;
  2. Don't start off angry;
  3. Pick your moment;
  4. Think about why the subject is difficult for you;
  5. Be certain you need to discuss the difficult subject;
  6. Don't ruminate about worst-case scenarios;
  7. Ask yourself, "What's the very worst that could happen?";
  8. As yourself if it can wait;
  9. Use notes;
  10. Write a note instead; and
  11. Get plenty of sleep and exercise.
(Huffington Post.)

I disagree with number ten and generally urge people to raise important and difficult issues in person or by phone. The temptation to use email is strong but should be avoided at all costs because it is so easy to be misunderstood. Otherwise, this is an excellent list and useful tool for visitors.

Related posts: Advice for Stopping a Nag; Advice for Visitors Dealing with Someone Really, Really Difficult; Don't Send That Angry Email; Using Email in Dispute Resolution.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that writing a note in place of direct communication has it pitfalls though what I would suggest to a visitor is to write a note and not ever give it to the other person. This would be a good way for them to vent, get out into paper what's on their mind, assess how their words and message may be interpreted and so then they can be better to communicate directly.